Koreans enjoy several types of jelly noodles. The most popular types are made of either acorn or mung bean flour. Both acorn and mung bean noodles are relatively bland in taste, but become flavorful after they are mixed with seasonings, sauces and add-ins, such as marinated beef.
I like both types of jelly noodles and decided to try cooking the mung bean version first. Below is the recipe for tangpyeongchae. The name is derived from the dish’s history; it was initially served at Korean royal court, back in the 18th century. A more modern name for the dish is cheongpomuk muchim.
Tangpyeongchae (Mung Bean Jelly Noodles) — 탕평채
- ½ c. mung bean powder*
- 4 oz. beef, sliced into 1.5 inch strips
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1 large egg
- 4 oz. bean sprouts, washed and trimmed**
- 1 sheet kim, cut into thin strips***
For the beef marinade:
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce****
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. sesame seeds, pan-toasted and ground
- black pepper to taste
For the jelly noodles seasoning:
- 4½ tsp. soy sauce****
- 4½ tsp. white vinegar
- 1 tsp. sugar
*Mung bean powder (also called mung bean flour and mung bean starch) is what it sounds like: a fine powder made from mung beans. Mung beans are a legume native to India. Koreans eat mung beans in several forms, including mung bean pancakes, which I cooked earlier this year. You can buy mung bean powder at Asian grocery stores and on Amazon.com for about $10. The above photos show what mung bean powder looks like.
**These bean sprouts can be either mung bean sprouts or soybean sprouts. However, since tangpyeongchae is made of mung bean flour, using mung bean sprouts is more authentic. Above is a photo of mung bean sprouts in packaging.
***Kim is seaweed that has been roasted and pressed into a thin sheet. This recipe refers to a large sheet of kim that measures about 7-8 inches. Above is a photo of kim in packaging.
****To make this recipe gluten free, I used San-J Organic Tamari Gluten-Free Soy Sauce ($6.69 + shipping on Amazon.com.)
- Place mung bean flour into a saucepan. Add 3½ cups of cold water and stir.
- Cook over medium heat, constantly stirring, until the mixture thickens and changes color to become almost translucent.
- Pour the mixture into a rectangular or square-shaped glass casserole dish.
- Let the mixture cool, then place the dish in the refrigerator for at least an hour to solidify.
- Once the jelly appears completely firm, invert the dish on top of a cutting board.
- Slice the jelly into pieces about 1½ inches long and ½ inch wide and set the jelly noodles aside.
- Combine beef marinade ingredients in a bowl and marinate beef strips for 10-15 minutes.
- Stir-fry beef strips until cooked through, 3-4 minutes.
- Fry egg and cut into thin strips.
- Blanch the bean sprouts. (Plunge the sprouts into a small pan of boiling water for 1 minute, then remove and drain.)
- Combine the jelly seasoning ingredients in a bowl and mix.
- Place jelly noodles, beef and bean sprouts in a large bowl. Mix with the jelly seasoning, garnish with egg and kim strips and serve.